Right & Wrong

by PammyMcB

At preschool age, I felt as though everything I did were wrong. I was punished severely for the most minute of actions. I clung to members of my church more than I did my family. I trusted very few people and was a fearful child, because of abuse. I barely knew my father even though he lived in the home. He worked up from sun-up to sundown. The only time I did see my father, he was drunk. My mother and father were physically fighting with one another or with others. I thought it was acceptable to fight with people because of this. My siblings and I fought all of the time and often injured each other. We had all almost literally killed one another. At the time, the only positive role models I had were those from my church.

It was not until I started elementary school that I really begun to understand right from wrong. What was acceptable behavior at school was not mirrored at home, so I did often stay confused. My siblings and I still battled, but we were all withdrawn from others. I dove into schoolwork and dedicated every bit of spare time to church activities. I learned my morals from Brother Blair, not from my family. I felt as if I could get away with more and be a kid at church, because being a child at home was wrong. Therefore, I still felt I did more wrong than good. Because I did not fully understand religion and did not have anyone at home that could explain things to me, I believed I was a sinner and would most certainly go to hell. I was still in elementary school when I began puberty. Because my father would threaten that we better not ever go through puberty, I hid my period from my family for two years. I thought I had done something wrong to cause me to get my period. Did you ever see “Carrie?” Yes, it was like that. I was told by my father that bad girls get their periods; and if you get your period, you will go to hell.

Because I had lived with the guilt for so long, I purposely did wrong things in high school. I wanted help, but could not get it. Every time I ran away, I was arrested at church. I went to my pastor for help, but he turned me in, so I felt betrayed. This confused me more than ever before, because I felt that it was right to look for salvation and sanctuary within the Lord. However, the law told me running away was a crime. At this point, I believed that no matter what I did, it was wrong.

I lost faith in church and God through my young adult years. I left home at seventeen and married a man that almost killed me and in the process caused me to lose my child. He got away with his crimes against me, so I felt that it was acceptable to allow a man to beat me. After all, this is how I was raised. I began to feel that God was punishing me for my loss of faith. I turned to drugs and alcohol though I knew it was a crime. I left my ex-husband, which went against everything I had ever been taught. In my church divorce was a sin, and in my family it was a crime. I was disowned from my family and excommunicated from my church for this. For the first time in my life, I had to find out right from wrong on my own. I married a wonderful man at 23 years old. I quit using, because of him. I started to look at my Christian values once again. This time, I did it on my own. Over the last few years, I have begun to realize what the Christian ethic looks like. I know right from wrong and know God does not cause us pain, he takes the pain away. Because I did not ever see what parenting is like, I have dove into it with blinders on. I know how poorly my parents treated me and how this hurt me. I know what they did is wrong. Therefore, I act the opposite toward my children and hope it is right.

I am almost in my middle adulthood stage. My understanding of right and wrong, now, is that the right thing to do has no victims. It may be difficult, but it hurts no one. The wrong action hurts one or many. I also am wise enough to know that governmental laws and justice are not always right. God’s laws trump all others.